Clifford Goldstein is an author and leading figure in the Seventh-day Adventist denomination. He’s a former editor of Liberty Magazine and the Adventist Adult Sabbath School quarterly.
About forty years ago, I had a born-again experience, knowing nothing of theology at all. All I knew was that I had met the Lord and, using this costly and mysterious gift of free will, I chose to give my life to Him.
I had a lot of new things to believe, but one really was hard: the resurrection of the dead. Come on! Even with my new-found faith, my new found understanding of reality, which allowed for miracles—this doctrine was a lot of swallow. Millions of dead, some eaten by fish a thousand years ago, brought back to life?
How could I believe something like this?
Then, right at this time, I walked into a bookstore and picked up an astronomy magazine that had a photo of a galaxy. The caption said that each galaxy had about 100 billion stars, and that there were billions of galaxies in the observable universe (today the number is about two trillion galaxies).
Do the numbers. They were astonishing, beyond comprehension, and yet that was what was out there. And, suddenly, it hit me—the God who could create, and sustain, billions (trillions, actually) of galaxies filled with billions of stars certainly could resurrect a few billion people here, right? The existence of all those galaxies doesn’t prove the promise of the resurrection but, simply, makes the idea entirely more plausible because the God who did the one, create galaxies, could do the other, namely, resurrect the dead.
Your dead shall live;
Together with my dead body they shall arise.
Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust;
For your dew is like the dew of herbs,
And the earth shall cast out the dead.